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The 73rd Indian Independence Day is almost upon us and while the country gets ready to celebrate this momentous occasion, we at Edureka asked ourselves what does freedom mean to today’s independent Indians. How do they cherish their freedom and what facilitates them to enjoy it? We decided to ask around and the result of that discussion overwhelmingly pointed to education and learning as the catalyst to the individual freedom in today’s India. In this blog, we will be featuring independent Indians, representatives from every state and union territory of India, and their stories of finding freedom through learning. We have tried to capture the essence of their hopes, dreams and how they realized it through education and skills. Read on to know why #LearningIsFreedom.
Sudipta, Inside Sales Manager from Andamans
“When I say I am from Andamans, people think I come from a tribal area. Education has given me an opportunity to correct this perception. Learning has broadened my mind and given me the confidence to step out and represent my state. One day, I hope to run my own company but until then I will try to excel in my job. When I look back, I can see that education has changed my state too. In Andamans, learning can literally save lives. I have seen it all, the ignorance of local people and tourists leading to loss of lives, Tsunami…and also seen how the right knowledge can save lives.
If I were to take back one learning from my time living in cities it would be the tenacity and competitiveness you find in the metros. The never give up attitude is inspiring.”
Appala Raju, Senior Analyst from Andhra Pradesh
“Learning has given me much more than freedom. It is also my strength, hope and confidence. In IT, one is expected to constantly upgrade and be knowledgeable about even the latest technologies. Learning has prepared me to hold my own in such a scenario. I started learning Big Data and Hadoop recently and the strength, confidence and the feeling of security it has given me is better than great! That’s what I feel is the true power of learning…it can really give you the confidence and freedom to face anything. In my 12+ years of living in Hyderabad as a techie, I have come to appreciate the economic and career opportunities in this city but I would be lying if I say I don’t miss my hometown Vishakhapatnam. The infrastructure is definitely better there but if I could take back one learning from Hyderabad, it would be the openness to companies setting up shop.”
Pallawi Priya, Senior Specialist from Bihar
“I come from a small town in Bihar where there aren’t many career opportunities for technology professionals. Learning and education have literally given me the bridge to a better life filled with career fulfilment, financial security and personal freedom. Today, I am excelling in a Linux Infrastructure role which is typically a male-dominated job role. Being one of the only two girls in the team, I feel like I am no less than anyone and capable enough to do justice to my job. This kind of confidence would have been unthinkable if I did not have the right education. Coming from a town which is orthodox in its views on gender roles, education has freed me from such boundaries and given me the means and the confidence to step out on my own and achieve what I want in life. I had a career break of three years after getting married but when the marriage didn’t work, I didn’t let that hamper my career. I got back on my feet, studied and started working again. I have realized that I don’t have to depend on anyone or marry for financial security as long as I have the skills. Today, even my parents trust me to make the right decision and are happy with what I am doing. Education has freed me. If I were to take back one learning to my hometown after living outside it would be the open-mindedness found in a city. Everyone is free to restart their lives and live the way they like in a city irrespective of background, and adopting this would make a difference.”
Aayushi Johari, Team Lead – Content Marketing from Chandigarh
“I have lived most of my life in Chandigarh. Although it’s a great city to live in, my life was very sheltered. I moved to Bangalore so I can live and wok in the IT hub of India. This has not only helped me in my career but also given me the opportunity to find my independence. Here, my salary is my own and I have learnt how to be self-reliant. Another eye-opener for me was social media. I was afraid of even posting on social media when I was back home in Chandigarh but here I am at ease and that has also led me to work in new-age media. Learning has been multi-faceted here in Bangalore and if I were to take back one thing that would be how to mingle and communicate with people of all regions and backgrounds.”
Ankit Koushik, Affiliate Marketing Manager from Chattisgarh
Learning did not come easy for me. My school in Surajpur district of Chattisgarh did not even have teachers when I was preparing for my pre-university 10 years ago. I was one among the six students who took mathematics in that school. My sister, a gold medalist, was actually the savior who coached me in Physics and Chemistry and prepped me for AIEEE. My learning journey and the accompanying freedom came to me after I finished my engineering. Initially, I took up a job in a Tata company in Electrical which I majored in my engineering. The salary was a paltry 3500 rupees and didn’t come with much experience either. That’s when I really took my fate into my hand and took the boldest decision I have ever taken. I resigned, took an internet connection and for the next 6 months, I taught myself digital marketing, analytics and affiliate marketing through courses, online material and whatnot. That led to a stint in a popular online coupon site and then to an edtech company. Today, I am standing on my own two feet, financially independent and self-reliant all because of that gutsy move to embark on a self-learning expedition so yes learning has truly given me the freedom to be who I want to be, to say the least.
If I were to take back one learning back to my hometown it would be that there’s a new chapter f knowledge always available if you are open to it. I have learnt so much in Delhi and especially Bangalore where every conversation is a quest for knowledge.
Alisha Barretto, Engineering Student from Goa
“I am a final year engineering student who dreams of making the world a better place through technology. To be frank, this dream has been a driving factor in my choice to study engineering. While my technical education will one day, I hope, help me solve the world’s problems, it has also opened up my mind to the fact that different people can have different perspectives about a single topic. No two individuals think about a topic in the same way. With this realization has come the freedom and hope to imagine a world that is diverse yet unified. I have lived in Tamil Nadu and Bangalore briefly during my education. If I were to take back one learning from these brief stays, it would be the pride for one’s own culture and language. I wish my fellow Goans were more open to speaking our own language and about our rich culture.” #LearningIsFreedom
Hardik Vyas, Senior IT Executive from Gujarat
“I am a small town boy who entered the field of IT and made a life in a big city while working in a multi-national company, all because of the right education. Career is not the only area where my BSc and MSc degrees have helped. Learning and education has given me the freedom of being social. I can now converse comfortably in English with any fellow citizen from any geographies or a global colleague without any hesitance and this makes a difference in my life. I hail from a small town in Junagadh district of Gujarat where everyone knows everybody and our communication is warm and informal. But, after living in Ahmedabad, I wish to take my learning in office etiquette, communication and tech-savviness to my town so that it eases life for so many youngsters who are yet to enter professional lives.”
Vivek Gupta, Lead-Customer Consultant from Jharkhand
“Learning has given me the freedom to step outside my home town and find my self-identity. I come from Dhanbad in Jharkhand where everyone used to know me as so and so’s son. Pursuing a technical education that led me to a career in Bangalore has changed that. I was always interested in pursuing engineering, and after my 10th grade, I opted for science stream although my parents wished me to take up commerce. I knew that although doing an MBA and getting into management was my end goal, a career involving tech will take me there. Today, I am happy with my career, working towards an MBA and living in Bangalore, a city that I dreamt of living in. Even in my hometown I am no longer just someone’s son but seen as a successful professional. I can stand out from the crowd today because of my learning. If I were to take back one learning from Bangalore it would be the broad-mindedness and the respect for individuality that I see in this city. I can define my life and my identity in this city, something which I wish youngsters like me in my hometown were able to do.
Juna P, Customer Success Manager from Kerala
“Learning has always been the first priority in my life. I believe that learning goes deeper than degrees and courses. While a degree could give you the official stamp of knowing something, learning goes beyond it to the fundamentals of how to behave, what to know and how to live. Learning and education have given me the freedom to achieve what I wanted, whether it’s by helping me realize what I am good at or by giving me the confidence to face my colleagues and customers. It has also helped me know what is possible in my line of work and helped me pave my own career path. Even in my personal life, the confidence that my parents have in me and the respect that I get from my in-laws and society stems from my education and in turn their confidence that I will make the right choice. I still remember what my husband told me after our marriage when I was contemplating my career path. He encouraged me to pursue my career and not let my education go to waste. I am glad I did that in spite of ups and downs because I feel learning truly gives a woman freedom. After having lived in multiple cities over the years, one learning that I would like to take back to Kerala is the open-mindedness. In cities such as Bangalore, women can move around freely even at night which really needs to be an option back home. Also, I like the competitiveness here…everyone wants to do their best and are not satisfied with a 9-5 job. Adopting this competitiveness will help retain good talent in Kerala, I feel.”
Vishaal Aribam, Motion Graphics Designer from Manipur
Freedom to me is having the confidence to interact with any kind of people, irrespective of geographies; learning has helped me gain that. I would never have got the exposure I have received if not for my decision to pursue my higher education outside my hometown. The learning that I gained in communication, interview prep, presentation etc as a result of living in metros has really helped my career. Even a lot of money in your hometown does not equal the opportunity you receive outside. Even an office lunch is an experience and an opportunity to learn here in Bangalore. With it of course comes the freedom to be who you are. Often in my hometown, people do not get the exposure and confidence they need to excel in their career and I would definitely take back that learning from my time in metros.
Debraj, Inside Sales Manager from Meghalaya
Adapt, adapt, adapt. This is what learning has empowered me to do. I come from a state that has a totally different culture from the rest of India. My taste in music, adventure sports, biking all stems from the unique attitude of the people in my home state. Although a Bengali by heritage, I relate more to Meghalaya than West Bengal and consider this my home. I first stepped outside my state to study in Chennai and Dehradun and then moved to Bangalore for work. I have moved around quite a bit all thanks to my education. Today, I can claim to have friends and former roommates from different parts of India and mastery in the art of adapting to my environment. This has also come to use on my long-distance biking trips to Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar among others. I have also found the freedom to know about different cultures, people and their way of life all due to my learning for which I am thankful. If I had to take back one learning from different cities I have lived in it would be the boldness and openness to opportunities. I want to encourage my fellow citizens from Meghalaya and other North-Eastern states to explore different places without worrying about barriers. Not everyone is the same and there is a lot of love out there. Being adaptive to all environments is also a character of cities which we could adopt.
Kanwarpreet Singh, Automation Consultant from Punjab
“Being a techie today comes with its perks but also challenges. There are exciting new technologies getting adopted every day but their entry in the IT industry also means that I have no choice but to learn continuously. Do I love it? Yes, of course. Learning and constantly updating my skills has given me the freedom to break the traditional boundaries in my job role. I started off in Automation Testing but recently I have up-skilled with Hadoop, Tableau, BI and Python and got involved in the implementation of projects related to these technologies. My long term dream is to become a Data Scientist but I have a long way to go before I reach there. But, one thing I have realized in the last two years is that learning is the only way we can improve ourselves, make us free to choose the career path we want, plan for a better tomorrow and mold ourselves to achieve it. Learning and upskilling have definitely given me a world view and the freedom to analyze and form my own ideas. One day, I hope to use the knowledge I have gained to give back to society and solve the world’s problems. Till then I will work on myself. If I were to take back a learning to my hometown it would be the professionalism and respect for work, irrespective of what it is, that I found in London.
Saurabh Kulshreshta, Senior Research Analyst from Rajasthan
“Learning has given me the freedom to have the lifestyle that I wish for. Today, I am financially independent and have multiple choices because of the opportunities and the confidence that my education unlocked for me. Growing up, I wanted to become a war correspondent but obviously, my parents weren’t happy with that choice. They said my life was important to them so, I settled for the second dream, becoming an engineer. That did go well…today I work on new-age digital media platforms and I’m on the career path I very much enjoy. I can proudly say that I am a responsible citizen, living in a city that I wished to live in and discerning enough to know the heroes from the villains. I am also financially self-reliant enough to live my dream of traveling widely with the kind of friends I always wanted. I am surrounded by smart people and live by the philosophy Eat, Sleep, Hustle, Repeat. Learning has truly unlocked freedom to be. If I were to take back one learning to my hometown Jaipur it would be the competitiveness found in cities and the appetite for new ideas. I truly hope to see more tech entrepreneurs setting up companies in my hometown.”
Sayantini Deb, Research Analyst from Tripura
“I come from Agartala a small city where everybody knows everybody. I was lucky enough to be able to travel because of my father’s job and was able to choose my city when it came to doing my engineering. I chose to study in Bangalore and stayed in a hostel. That’s when real life started. Not only did I learn how to interact with people outside my familiar circle, I also learnt how to do things on my own, whether it’s managing my expenses or doing my chores or taking care of myself late at night. I always dreamt of staying on my own and that’s been realized because of the freedom my education has given me. Even my parents think I am a responsible person today and I have friends from so many geographies. If I were to take back one learning that would be the diversity and development. In Bangalore you get to learn from all kinds of people and communities, different tastes of India so to speak and this learning is valuable.”
Pallavi Sharma, Inside Sales Manager from Uttarakhand
“I am the eldest among the girls in a family full of Hotel Management professionals. Chefs, sous chefs, managers, travel agents, name it and we have them. I am the first in my family to pursue a different line of work i.e technology. I did meet resistance at first when I opted for science stream but I faced it anyway and today I am proud to say that I have made a successful career of it. Learning has given me the freedom to work in the IT domain and also the financial freedom that I longed for. The independence of thoughts, way of life and career along with monetary freedom that I enjoy today would not have been possible without the education of my choice. It has opened up newer and bigger possibilities for me. I dream of having my own startup one day and I hope to acquire the skills that I need for it because I know that learning is the only way to achieve my goals. If I were to adopt one thing from Delhi and Bangalore and take it home to Uttarakhand it would be the tech savviness of people in these metros. Even a coconut seller uses Paytm, especially in Bangalore, whereas digital payments are not yet welcome back home. Adoption of tech will improve quality of life is my opinion.”
Shovan Singha, Senior Creative Designer from West Bengal
“I always dreamed of making a career in Visual Design. Although I trained in art, the right education made this dream a reality. While I always had the knack for it, the right training helped me become a professional. A runner will have the innate abilities but to become an athlete he/ she needs the right coaching and that’s what I have received from pursuing formal education in art and design. Now I am confident of trusting my own decisions although the learning didn’t come in one day. The practical exposure I have received over the years and the experience in teaching especially helped.
Artists know aesthetics and designers know technique. If I were to take back one learning to my old art college circle it would be the art of communication and how it helps make design an experience. It’s after all a communicative art.”
From speaking to such a diverse group of people from across India we have come to know that #LearningIsFreedom because it helps us break out of restrictions in our personal and professional lives, and helps us realize our true potential. This Independence Day, let’s come together and celebrate this philosophy, that has guided our nation and our vibrant IT industry. We hope that these stories of learning and freedom have inspired you!